THE ONE VEHICLE THAT WILL TAKE US TO OUR DESTINATION

Our journey has come to its end. As each of us travel through this  place and time, and have journeyed over these past 5 years, we have come upon many sites where we stopped a moment to consider its influence on our journey but as we considered yesterday our final destination was and always will be the “eternal city”.

Today we conclude with what vehicle we use that will help us reach our destination. The world offers a great many models on the showroom floor (secularism, marxism, post modernism, new spirituality, islam, etc.). Some are for show only and won’t even start. Only one can be driven off (Christianity) with a GPS (the Word of God) that guarantees we will reach our destination.

That Word of God spoken of since the time of the prophets is the Holy Scriptures (Romans 1:2) that is “living and powerful, piercing and discerning all thoughts and intents of the heart”(Hebrews 4:12). In fact as Paul shares in Philippians 2:16 the Word of God is life itself and isn’t that what everyone seeks-life.

This day there is only one travel guide or vehicle we need. It is the Holy Bible of our Christian faith. It consists of Old Testament law as Christ acknowledged in the words of Mark 7 and New Testament Gospel. It is God’s revelation to us seen and spoken through the life of Christ and recorded in the Holy Word. It is THE ONE VEHICLE THAT WILL TAKE US TO OUR DESTINATION.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The Word of God is the only writing that has any true worth.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Philippians 2:16 “the Word of God is the Word of life”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for Your Word.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  How does Christianity differ from all other worldviews?
  2.  Why is the Bible God’s one and only recorded Word?
  3.  Why does the Bible continue to remain the most sought after book year after year?
  4.  Are you a devout Christian and if so why?

 

ZION: THE ETERNAL CITY

As I come to the end of my journey of five plus years posting devotionals covering what I have determined to be the primary categories of Scripture, I am left with two thoughts. Each of us are allowed a period of time to journey on this earth and as with all journeys there needs to be a destination and a vehicle to reach that destination.

Today we look at the destination referred to in Scripture as Zion or the New Jerusalem which will be the eternal city (Hebrews 12:22) in Heaven that we as Christian believers will one day experience.

Until then the road to Zion needs to be understood from an earthly perspective as well. Today the world and most all in it would distract us from where our focus needs to be. The city of spiritual truth on earth and a shadow of our heavenly Jerusalem home. That being Jerusalem the Capitol of Israel (Psalm 48:1-2). This city now much in the news as the US will move its embassy there is showing the United Nations for its true anti-Semitic and anti-Christian make-up as well.

To be a Zionist requires you to believe that Israel, as a nation, is the people of God (2 Kings 19:21). It is here that Revelations (16:16) tells us will be the final battle (Armageddon/Mt. Megiddo) on the mountain of God’s blessing. It is here where judgment will take place and it is through here that will see us reach our final destination: ZION THE ETERNAL CITY.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Zion, a city that will complete Christ’s (and our) journey.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Hebrews 12:22 “Zion, eternal city”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord show me Your city.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  What is a Zionist?
  2.  How is Israel fulfilling end times theology?
  3.  Why are so many anti-Semitic?
  4.  Are you a Zionist?

FURTHERING GOD’S KINGDOM

Have you ever experienced intense enthusiasm for something either personally or as seen in the lives of others? The feeling almost defies description. That is one of the many reasons why I enjoy my new grandchild so much. Her willingness to ‘plunge’ into every moment looking forward to the wonders that moment will bring.

Zeal such as this is a gift from God. As a Christian we are to have a zeal or intense enthusiasm directed toward the Messiah (Romans 10:2). The prophets spoke of this as having a correct understanding based on a sound spiritual condition. This condition was two-fold. A self giving love to those who may not have any love to return along with an inner spiritual and outward ethical purity.

The key then is to take this correct understanding and show this enthusiasm first of all for the salvation of others such as we saw in God’s heart for Israel recorded in Romans 10:1. A salvation intended for all of mankind as seen in the message of the cross and the empty tomb. A message that missionaries today carry to many or a message that may transform and reform one person at a time (2 Corinthians 7:11).

No matter how our zeal is manifested, we must live in each moment directing our energy in FURTHERING GOD’S KINGDOM.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Zeal is contagious when carried out for Christ.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Romans 10:2 “zeal directed toward God”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord keep my enthusiasm high to further Your Kingdom.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  For what do you have ‘intense enthusiasm’?
  2.  How do some wrongly boast in their zeal?
  3.  Where can you give love where their may be none returned?
  4.  What is inner spiritual and outward ethical purity?

 

LIVING UNDER GRACE

In pioneer time, as some do today, animals would be yoked together in order to unite them for purposes of work. The yoke served its purpose but many an animal would fight the yoke until broken to it. Scripture references a yoke in much the same fashion. Until we understand the yoke properly it is figurative of oppression (Deuteronomy 28:49), subject to demonic influence and may cause us to be under submission such as noted in Jeremiah 27:8. This is brought on by our living lives captive to sin (Lamentations 2:14).

The question might then be asked if a yoke is ever easy to bear and the answer is most certainly yes. When the yoke is looked upon as total commitment to godliness through the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ Himself offers this to each of us as seen in his own words recorded in Matthew 11:28-30. When we acknowledge God’s sovereignty over our lives our willing obedience to all of His Word comes naturally. Being a Christian is no longer legalistic with strict works required of us. We now have lives that are changed both in our inward manner and our outer behavior. Indeed now we are LIVING UNDER GRACE.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: A yoke that yields to our Lord is an easy burden to bear.

DEVOTIONAL VERSES FOR TODAY: Matthew 11:28-30 “Christ defines what a yoke should be”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I desire to be yoked to You.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  Are you yoked with Jesus?
  2.  Have you experienced true freedom?
  3.  Does living out a life of faith come natural for you?
  4.  Are there any burdens you still bear?

A REAL GENTLEMAN

Having addressed husbands, wives and women it seems only appropriate I address the subject of young men as Scripture would put before us. We are told that young men glory in their strength (Proverbs 20:29) which today we see carried out on the fields of sport. This physical strength can also be channeled into strength of soul and spirit as 1 John 2:13-14 tells us. Perhaps that is why the Mormons find it so successful to send out their youth in two’s to carry the message of their belief to others.

These same positive characteristics of young men sadly are often led astray. King Rehoboam discovered this when he looked to the unwise counsel of young men (1 Kings 12:8-14) for his decisions. This same unwise counsel comes because with youth is often unbridled passion easily led astray (Proverbs 7:7-23) and impatience as shown in the example Christ shared in the words of Luke 15:12-13.

What then do young men need to remain on the right path. The path God would have them travel. Most importantly they need God’s Word (Psalm 119:9). Until you fully surrender, as the rich young ruler was advised by Christ (Matthew 19:20-22) to do, guided by The Word, your life will be one of struggling. As the Wisdom of Solomon shares in Proverbs 1:4, young men need this knowledge from God and to live out lives of discretion accordingly. This sober mindedness Titus speaks of (2:6) will build a young man into the person any parent and most especially God would want him to be. A REAL GENTLEMAN.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Young men when uniting God’s Word with their years can do wonders.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Psalm 119:9 “Young men have a special need for God’s Word”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord bring our youth to Your Word.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  How can the strength of youth be a positive?
  2.  What often leads the young to provide unwise counsel?
  3.  What makes young men vulnerable to demonic ways?
  4.  Define a real gentleman?

THE WORD BECAME A HUMAN BEING

As I write this it is Christmas morning. Darkness surrounds me as dawn has not yet set in. The evening was short concluded with my reading the true Christmas story from Luke 2:1-14 to my family. I slept well (though briefly) only to awaken with the first words before me from Scripture being:”the Word became a human being” (John 1:14).

Today we celebrate that miraculous event. When an omniscient and omnipotent God so loved the world that He sends His Son to us. A Savior Who is Christ the Lord that we can live for all eternity simply by our faith (Romans 1:17). A thought and reality that once captured the world reforming the church and we in it.

For myself life is getting to know God better. Praying, listening and then speaking to others about His Kingdom. A Kingdom that becomes ours through a birth in a manger in a stable in far of Bethlehem. Today is Christmas. A day to give glory to God. A day when THE WORD BECAME A HUMAN BEING.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The Word of God is a window to the wonders of salvation.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Revelations 14:7 “give glory to God always”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord thank you for showing me the way.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  Explore the difference between God becoming man versus man desiring to be God?
  2.  Explain God’s Word taking on the form of humanity through Christ being like the contents of a seed coming to life?
  3.  Where is the danger in glorifying self?
  4.  What does the birth at Bethlehem mean to you?

WITCHCRAFT SURROUNDS US

There is a growing movement that people are becoming a part of and often without realizing its impact. The movement I speak of is sorcery or witchcraft. Perhaps the vehicle which the devil and his demonic forces will use as the last weapon to capture mankind’s soul.

Witchcraft or any influence which takes you into a supernatural world apart from God is contrary to Scripture. It was forbidden by God in Israel (Deuteronomy 18:9-14) and condemned by the prophets (Micah 5:12) yet today our societies are opening its doors wide to its practices through mind altering drugs and other vehicles which change the heart.

Sorcery or witchcraft is one of the many works of the flesh that will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21) yet demonic forces continue to cry out for its legitimacy to a human population vulnerable and easily persuaded.

Understanding end time revelation is not easy yet I believe Revelations 17:1-2 shows us that one day a form of sorcery will unite nations with the ‘harlot’ who will come against God’s chosen people (Gentile and Jew). As absurd as some may think my view is, I believe a body such as the United Nations may be that vehicle. At this writing we had a foretaste of that in one of their many votes condemning Israel and in this case the USA for it support of Israel.

God would have us keep our minds clear and focused solely on Him as given to us to understand through His Word. Today it is important we be evermore vigilant for WITCHCRAFT SURROUNDS US.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Witchcraft is a wound that will not heal.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Galatians 5:20 “Witchcraft is of the flesh not God’s Spirit”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord protect me from all that is evil.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  How is witchcraft becoming more popular in our society?
  2.  Who in Scripture used sorcery and with what results?
  3.  How might the United Nations be an instrument in end time revelations?
  4.  Do you support any form of witchcraft?

KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE SKY

Following my devotional posts you will understand my fascination with weather. Scripture is filled with all aspects of it including the accurate proverbs recorded in the 37th chapter of Job. Written by someone who, like myself, would watch weather closely.

The reason for my fascination is that if we truly desire to understand God then we will want to understand that which is under His divine control. Samuel understood this in writing the words of 1 Samuel 12:16-19. Today those same words of “calling upon the Lord” for rain are uttered by individuals and political leaders across our land when faced by drought.

For myself the fascination of weather lies in the signs it foretells. Today most overlook that critical purpose of weather. A purpose that even those who opposed Christ (Pharisees and Sadducee’s) understood (Matthew 16:1). In fact Christ in His own words (Luke 12:54-57) warns us that if we are discerning we will watch that which weather can tell us about the times now and the future.

The prophet Ezekiel shares in Ezekiel 38:2 and 22 that what happened to the Egyptians when holding the Jewish nation in bondage (Exodus 9:18) will one day return. When all we who believe will be freed from sin. Until then KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE SKY.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Watching weather is a way to be warned of what God has planned.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: 1 Samuel  12:17 “prayer for the blessing of rain”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I hold Your forecast close to my heart.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  What aspects of weather does Scripture address?
  2.  What is the significance of weather that comes from the east?
  3.  How did Egyptians and some today go beyond watching weather?
  4.  What about weather fascinates you?

 

A MEMBER OF THE HEAVENLY CHOIR

People have an innate need to worship or hold in reverence something in their life. As with all aspects of life there is good and bad involved and unfortunately many choose to go the wrong direction. Included among the many are Christians who are given over to a ‘fleshly mind’ (Colossions 2:18) placing matters of this world above that of God’s Kingdom.

Wrong objects of human worship include worship of other gods (small g) rather than the One True God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Exodus 34:14). This can include any number of demons (Deuteronomy 32:17) and creatures (Romans 1:25) that roam the world in search of souls to destroy. Some of those are images such as Daniel addresses in Daniel 3:5-18 and that people fall down to or set on various types of alters. Examples include non Christian beliefs such as budhist or figures seen in mayan temples. Finally in the area of wrongful worship we see many who worship their fellow man as Peter experienced and corrected in Acts 10:25-26. We see this every day in what we call hero worship or ‘buttering up’ someone who can help us improve our position in this life. Sadly this maya well lead many into final judgment (Revelation 13:4-13) as they will be easily led to the anti-christ in the end days.

Worship done correctly is to be of Christ done by men (John 9:30-38) and women as seen in the example recorded in Matthew 15:25. If we as believers do truly desire to be obedient to God’s Word and become His Disciples in this day and age we need to commit now to join the Angels of Heaven (Hebrews 1:6) and become now and forever more A MEMBER OF THE HEAVENLY CHOIR.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Worship of our Wonderful Lord and Savior is to be the work of a Christian life.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Matthew 28:17 “the Disciples worship Christ as we should today”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord I worship You and You alone.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  Do you worship the Lord only?
  2.  What images of false gods do people make?
  3.  What creatures and demons roam the world?
  4.  How does one distinguish between ‘other gods’ and the One True God?

THE ROLE OF A WOMAN

I am about to share what will disappoint a great many people but I do so based on my acceptance of all Scripture as inerrant. Doing otherwise, as so many have, puts self before God on deciding what is or is not the recorded Word of God. The position of the female sex in relation to man is to understand that she was created from man (Genesis 2:21-25) and made by God to help him (Genesis 2:18-20). Evolutionary thought says God did not create mankind according to Genesis chapter 2 and therefore these views are archaic and if in fact so then Genesis is irrelevant removing the idea of original sin and a need for Christ and His death and resurrection for our sins. A Pandora’s box that opens the world to a huge range of misbehavior that we are beginning to see society practice and accept today.

I believe Genesis is the perfect plan if understood properly. Marriage is for children and when blessed with children career should be secondary to that of a mother and homemaker. In my personal case my wife assisted in my office so that earnings more than offset her previous wages and she was always their for our children. Children that when once grown allowed me to retire and help my wife establish a long and successful career of her own.

A woman, despite those who desire to confuse gender, has special spiritual insight as noted in the example of the mother of Samson in Judges 13:23. Indeed a woman can show her faith in our Lord and Savior in such a manner (2 Timothy 1:5) that she will be forever held in the highest regard by her family for her being led to and leading others to a saving faith. What a wonderful thing it is when living according to God’s plan to be THE ROLE OF A WOMAN.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: A woman filled with the wisdom of God is a wonderful partner.

DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Galatians 3:28 “woman is equal in Christ”.

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord help us all to understand and accept Your will for our lives.

QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:

  1.  Why is the role of man woman in such a state of turmoil?
  2.  How does the theory of evolution affect the role of a woman?
  3.  How does Galatians 3:28 fit with the role of women in Genesis 2?
  4.  How can a woman impact lives spiritually